Former Commonwealth Games double sprint champion, Blessing Okagbare failed in her bid to make history as the first African sprinter to break 22 seconds in the 200m following her 22.83 seconds run Sunday at the Muller Grand Prix IAAF Diamond League meeting in Birmingham,United Kingdom, Completesports.com reports.
The Nigerian, tipped to run faster than the 22.05 seconds she ran at the end of June at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting in Stanford, California USA however confirmed her place in the final of the event in less than a fortnight at the Weltklasse Diamond League meeting in Zurich, Switzerland.
Okagbare finished fifth in Birmingham to garner four points which increased her total haul to 18 points, good enough to guarantee her a lane in Zurich come August 29, 2019.
She will now fight for the $50,000 top prize money on offer as well as getting crowned as the IAAF Diamond League Champion, plus a wild card to Doha’s IAAF World Championships alongside Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith who topped the standings with 29 points; flying Dutchwoman, Dafne Schippers; Jamaica’s 2019 world leader in the event at 22.00 seconds, Elaine Thompson; USA’s Jenna Prandini and Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller-Uibo who won the race in Birmingham on Sunday and stands as the favourite in Zurich.
Interestingly, Okagbare will also be competing in the final of the 100m this time at the Memmorial Van Damme in Brussles on September 6.
Meanwhile, sprint hurdler, Tobi Amusan was also in action in Birmingham and came third in the 100m hurdles (12.71 seconds), behind 2019 world leader, Danielle Williams of Jamaica who ran 12.46 seconds to win ahead of reigning world record holder at 12.20 seconds, Kendra Harrison of the USA who ran 12.66 seconds.
Amusan will also be in the final of the event for the second consecutive season and will hope to run faster than the 12.49 seconds personal best she ran last month in France to guarantee her a podium appearance in Brussels where the final will be run.
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